Box Office: ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Tops $800 Million As ‘Everything, Everywhere’ Sets New A24 Record

Marvel and Walt Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earned another $31.6 million (-50%) in its third domestic weekend, bringing its 17-day total to $342.1 million. That puts it above a deluge of recent big-deal superhero movies (sans inflation), including Thor: Ragnarök ($315 million), Iron Man ($318 million), Deadpool 2 ($324 million), Guardians of the Galaxy ($333 million), Aquaman ($334 million), Joker ($335 million) and Spider-Man 3 ($336 million). It’s going to still end up becoming the least leggy MCU movie ever, behind even Captain America: Civil War ($408 million from a $179 million debut) and Black Widow ($183 million/$80 million, Disney+ Premiere Access availability aside. Nonetheless, I’d partially chalk that up to the deluge of fans who showed up on opening weekend expecting a mythology episode.

You had the “got to see the big event flick” audience in the first three days, and now you’re just dealing with audiences who were fine with a Captain America 3 or a Doctor Strange 2. Marvel and Disney sold Sam Raimi’s stand-alone, straight-forward sequel as a big-deal MCU event, which is where some of the dissatisfaction has arisen. Oh well, they’ll have to make do with decent reviews and a domestic total over/under $400 million (depending on how much of a bump it gets over Memorial Day weekend), which will be 72% jump from Doctor Strange ($232 million). It’ll also be higher than the $390 million cume of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And, yes, it’ll likely pass The Batman ($370 million) next weekend to become 2022’s biggest domestic grosser.

The $200 million Benedict Cumberbatch/Elizabeth Olsen fantasy has already passed Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz’s The Batman worldwide, with $461.1 million overseas cume and $803.2 million global total. Presuming a normal rate of descent, we’re looking at a domestic total of around $406 million and a global cume of over/under $950 million. That is terrific for A) “just a Doctor Strange sequel” and B) an MCU tentpole that won’t receive help from business in China (which would have likely added $100-$150 million in pre-Covid times), Russia and Ukraine. If Captain America: Civil War showed a solo MCU flick could play like an Avengers movie if constructed as one, Multiverse of Madness showed it need only be sold as one. Let’s see how Thor: Love & Thunder performs being sold as “just a good MCU sequel.”

In other multiverse movie news, A24’s Everything, Everywhere All at Once has earned another $3.16 million, plunging a whopping… uh… 6% in its ninth weekend. The Daniels’ acclaimed and buzzy action-comedy has now earned $52.26 million domestic, passing Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems to become A24’s biggest domestic earner of all time. It’s also pennies away from passing Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci ($53 million) to top every single one of last year’s Oscar-season hopefuls save for (if you count it) Dune ($108 million). Yeah, the Michelle Yeoh/Ke Huy Quan/Stephanie Hsu flick is now likely to be a major Oscar contender simply by being A24’s top offering when the time comes. If it keeps earning over/under $3 million for the next few weeks, well, $60 million looks like the floor now.

With the caveat that A24 is a domestic-centric distributor, Everything, Everywhere has now earned at least $61 million, behind only Moonlight ($65 million), Lady Bird ($79 million) and Hereditary ($81 million). It still has a chance at passing those three by the end. While the film arrives at home on June 7, the strong legs shown by everything from A Quiet Place part II to Sing 2 shows that need not be a fatal obstruction. As far as competition, there frankly isn’t much during a not-so-packed summer. As noted yesterday, June 3 has zero new wide releases (all due respect to Watcher and Crimes of the Future). There are just four weekends all summer (Memorial Day weekend, June 24, July 15 and August 5) with more than one big wide release newbie.

I could easily envision a scenario where Everything, Everywhere All at Once continues to earn around $2-3 million per week for the next month as an official weekly social event for those treating this flick as a culturally and demographically specific event movie. Again, the comparisons (final grosses aside) that come to mind are The Sixth Sense, The Greatest Showman and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, all of which just kept going and going not unlike James Cameron’s Titanic for the first three months of 1998. The $25 million flick has struck a chord with an overlapping handful of demographics, and its continued box office strength is an absolute miracle in these streaming-centric and opening weekend-focused times. I look forward to seeing Hollywood learn many wrong lessons (“Audiences love multiverses!”) from its success.

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